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How Intellectuals Made History in Zimbabwe

"The history of Zimbabwe has been revised in the service of the governing ZANU-PF party. A ‘patriotic’ version of history, disseminated by public intellectuals and state media, has distorted legitimate grievances. Critics of patriotic history, in...

Bunge Lenye Meno: A Parliament with Teeth, for Tanzania

"East Africa’s most populous nation has been a beacon of political stability in a troubled region. Yet for most of Tanzania’s post-independence history, ethnic and religious tolerance has been underpinned by the dominant governing party Chama Cha...

Steady Progress? 30 Years of Museveni and the NRM in Uganda

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni addressed Ugandans for the first time on 29 January 1986 as national leader: “No one should think that what is happening today is a mere change of guard; it is a fundamental change in the politics of our country”. Since Ug...

Party Rules: Consolidating Power through Constitutional Reform in Tanzania

Since the creation of the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964, the basic law – katiba in Swahili – has been the subject of persistent controversy and contestation. Despite being presented at the outset with a seemingly unsustainable constitutiona...

State(s) of Crisis: Sub-National Government in Nigeria

Nigeria generates about 20% of the total GDP on the African continent. Therefore, this country has the largest economy in Africa. With the presidential election in March 2015, the incumbent peacefully conceded defeat and transferred power to an op...

Talking Gender to Africa

"International donors have sought to improve the social, political and economic position of women in Africa through an approach known as “gender”. This donor-driven strategy is failing. The jargon of gender programmes is ambiguous and easily misu...

After the Promises: Re-thinking UK Policy in Africa

"Coalition government in the UK is an opportunity to revise policy on Africa. More aid is touted as proof of politicians’ compassion and conscience. But an emerging cross-party consensus has ignored significant policy failures. Democracy, trade, t...

Diehards and Democracy Elites, Inequality and Institutions in African Elections

"Effective policy is not the exclusive preserve of democratic government. So-called “competitive authoritarian” regimes in Africa have proved alluring to donors and investors alike, from East and West. Whether these regimes will succeed in emulat...

South Africa’s Watershed Elections: Awry, the Beloved Country?

In post apartheid South Africa, municipal elections have had a brief and unremarkable history. However, it is expected that the polls on 3 August are to be the most fiercely contested of any to date. South Africa’s demography is changing rapidly ...

Constitution-Making in Côte d’Ivoire

Ivorians will vote on 30 October 2016, regarding the adoption of a new draft constitution unveiled only 25 days earlier. Few citizens have read the text, which was drawn up by a committee of experts and which parliament rapidly endorsed. The gover...

South Africa: The Next Republic

"The resignation of former president Thabo Mbeki can be seen as the ending of a “First Republic” in democratic South Africa. The liberal left tradition of the governing African National Congress is fading, and the “Second Republic” will be shaped ...

South Africa: The Brazil of Africa

"These notes compare economic and social policy in South Africa with Brazil, as members of the governing African National Congress prepare to elect a new party president. They argue that South Africa has followed a trajectory similar in many respe...

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